I just turned 13 and I got my period last month for the first time. When I saw the blood in my underwear for the first time I was surprised, but not scared because my mum had told me before that my period would come some time after I started puberty. I told her what happened and she gave me a pack of sanitary napkins and showed me how to apply them to my underwear. It was a new experience for me and took some time to adjust, but I got used to it.
An unexpected visitor
A month later, I was in the lunch hall eating with my friends when I started to feel cramps just below my tummy. I thought I had eaten something wrong but it turns out it was a sign that my period was coming and I really wasn’t ready for it.
I felt the blood running down my leg, and I knew that meant my skirt was also probably stained. I couldn’t get up. I felt so embarrassed. Why did this have to happen to me in the lunch hall with so many people around?
Embarrassment? Shame? No. None of that!
I had to go home early to wash myself and change my underwear. I told my mum what happened and I felt like crying because I’m sure people saw me. But my mum reassured me that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
She said, ”things are only embarrassing because of the story we tell ourselves in our minds about the situation”. She told me not to think negative thoughts about it. Instead I should challenge myself to think positive thoughts about what happened. Thoughts like “periods are normal” and “difficult situations happen but it’s how you deal with it that matters”.
Getting smart about periods
My mum also told me that getting your period unexpectedly happens to many girls when they first start. You’ve just got to get smart about tracking it to make sure you’re always prepared.
Hmm, tracking my period? I had never thought about it. So I got a special calendar for my period and now every month I count the first day I bleed as Day 1 and then count 28 days after that to see when the next one will be. For most girls the menstrual cycle is 21 to 35 days, so I make sure I have sanitary napkins with me from day 21.
So girls, remember, periods are nothing to be embarrassed about. Always have a sanitary napkin with you and track your cycle so you’re prepared. And even if something still goes wrong, don’t worry! Think quick and take action.